Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is AIDS A Point Of No Return?

There is nothing quite as life-altering as being told you don't have long to live. It’s impossible to imagine what that must be like.

Over the years, I’ve felt the pain and suffering of thousands of patients but I have to say that looking at someone suffering from AIDS is the most soul-stirring. Kunal Joshi told me what it felt like.

(Watch the full video below)

I will never forget his words… “What is the point living? Why should I trouble others for months and months?”

Kunal’s haunted and hunted look, and his empty eyes said it all. His body was in the process of breaking down. It had been four years already. But even more alarming, his Mind had also given up. And when the Mind gives up, the body will necessarily follow suit.

That is the sad reality of patients suffering from HIV and AIDS. Kunal’s was a case of full-blown AIDS. What can be worse than a body attacking itself? Why would the human body wage a war against itself when self-preservation is the very driving force of life? What makes the human body self-destruct?

The answer lies in the extremely subtle and complex interplay between Mind and body. On the physical level, Kunal’s condition actually has very little to do with the HIV virus, or for that matter, any virus. At the very centre of our health and well-being, both physical and mental, is the immune system.

For most people, the immune system is something that is weak when we are unwell. And when our “immunity builds up”, we begin to recover. Although that is correct, it is wrong to believe that the sole purpose of the immune system is to “keep illness at bay and to fight infection”. In fact, the mechanical view of the human body perpetuated by conventional medicine leads some to erroneously believe that illness weakens our immunity when it is actually the other way around!

Apart from fending off infections and devouring pathogens that invade our body, the immune system plays a vital role in keeping us alive. That is because its primary function is to defend. If we had no defences, we would not be alive and ticking.

At any given moment, every human being is defending at two parallel levels – physical and mental. But what are we constantly defending against? At the physical level, the immune system battles pathogens and chemicals such as toxins that make us sick. It mops up harmful substances in the bloodstream, kills potent microorganisms, transports toxins to the liver to be neutralised before elimination, and generally keeps our organs healthy. It essentially defends against biological breakdown.

Just like the body, at the mental level too – and this relevant in the homeopathic context – the Mind is constantly and reflexively defending. And, believe it or not, our psychological and mental defences too depend on how our immune system behaves and its state of health.

But why is the mind constantly in defensive mode? This may seem like an extreme statement but, indeed, we build our perception of the world and live our lives as a reaction to perceived threats – loss of love, financial insecurity, feeling unwanted, feelings of inadequacy, abuse and trauma, fear of losing respect, etc – that we harbour deep in our subconscious minds. When the mind and body sense a vulnerability, there is an instinctive and innate need to defend. It is the law of survival.

We each one of us builds elaborate mental defences, weaves intricate thought processes and designs personality systems to protect ourselves against our core sensitivities. Since most of our psychological injuries and weaknesses take root in infancy and early childhood, they are largely subconscious but they stay with us for the rest of our lives.

It is these core issues and the unique way in which each individual experiences them that I call Key Sensitivity. The next step for the homeopath to discover how exactly the patient has defended their Key Sensitivities.

To link this to our material state… As is the case with pathogens, our brain interprets emotional complexes too as ‘threats’ and calls upon our immune system to start ‘defending’. Thus, physical as well as emotional defences draw on our immune capabilities. And since our key and core issues persist throughout our lives, imagine the toll they take on the immune system.

It is the immune system, along with its complex interaction with the brain, that mediates between Mind and body. It is, in fact, where Mind and body neurologically and biochemically intersect. Thus, it is not only our physical state but our underlying emotional and mental health that depend on our immune system.

The quest of the homeopath is to find the right remedy for each patient, and this right remedy does nothing but optimise the patient’s immune system – because a healthy and strong immune system keeps the mind healthy. For the layperson reading this blog, make no mistake, it is not possible to optimise and strengthen your immunity via chemical drugs, no matter how cleverly they are marketed. And food supplements and vitamins can go only so far. But imagine your mind and body being in a state of optimal health, and then living and eating healthy. Isn’t that an enviable place to be? Homeopathy not only cures disease; it also restores the balance within mind and body and helps you be the healthiest person you can be.

But what is it like to have no hope of living and wait helplessly for death to come a-calling? Millions of people around the world are routinely led to believe by conventional medicine that the HIV virus is a killer. Am I saying it is not?
AIDS Case: Kunal Joshi

The initial clips are in Marathi but following this, the patient narrates his case in English. Homeopaths can click here for the Case Analysis

Kunal was a 36-year-old who was diagnosed with AIDS four years before he came to my clinic. He was an ambitious man, who had always dreamt of doing something worthwhile with his life. He wanted to “become someone” (his Key Sensitivity) and enjoy a secure social standing.

Kunal was unable to fulfil his deep-seated need to “become someone”. The best he could do was land a modest job in a telecom company. Adding insult to (perceived) injury was his wife’s constant nagging. She said he could have done much better with his career. She also claimed he didn’t look after the family as he should have nor did he care for her and their children enough. His wife made Kunal feel like failure, which only built on his feelings of inadequacy.

All this gnawed away at Kunal, day after agonising day, weakening his immune system over the years. He finally contracted the HIV virus, presumably from sexual encounters outside his marriage.

When Kunal came to my clinic, his nervous system was a wreck. He could barely speak, he couldn’t walk properly, his vision had diminished greatly, and he did not have full bladder and bowel control. Kunal was taking as many as 17 different drugs but he still grew weaker. The side-effects of these drugs were phenomenal. Worse, Kunal had hidden his condition at work and from people at large. But he lost his job anyway as he was too sick to continue.

Despite his attempts to conceal his condition, there was always a possibility that people would get to know the truth. Apart from being a “failure in life” and as a “husband and father”, he now faced possible social stigma and rejection. This was the third and final blow in an area of Key Sensitivity.

I treated Kunal for 8 months, and the improvement in his health was dramatic. All the difficulties mentioned above had reversed themselves. His health improved to the point where he was able to work again. The last time we spoke, Kunal said he had landed a new job and was excited about getting back to leading a “normal life”.

Note: There was a point during treatment, when Kunal suffered extreme skin eruptions. This was an excellent sign as the toxins in his body – imagine the toxic build-up in an AIDS patient in addition to the by-products of the allopathic medication – were expelling themselves from his system. This is called the Healing Crisis, sometimes dubbed as “getting worse before you get better”.

The skin eruptions were so severe that the blisters burst, his skin cracked and Kunal bled. Usually, skin eruptions that occur during a healing crisis do not break the surface but Kunal was in an extremely destructive or Syphilitic stage when he came to me. His Miasm had not yet reversed to Sycosis or Psora when the boils and blisters appeared.

But the key question remains: Why had Kunal come to a point where his body was unable to defend itself any more? Note: This is not only the case with AIDS but happens with people who contract any serious illness (unless, of course, the body is under sustained chemical or toxic assault or you live in a radiation zone, which eventually will overwhelm the immune system).

Kunal’s downslide began some time before he fell sick. The cumulative effect of feeling like a failure finally took its toll till Kunal’s immune system could defend him no more. His Mind had unwittingly chipped away at his immune system, ironically causing both Mind had to cave in.

Here are some fingertip facts:
  • The Mind is much more powerful than we realise
  • All illness begins in the Mind
  • We can use the Mind to reverse illness and restore us to good health
  • Conventional medicine is not the last word on your state of health

Re-awaken the healer in you…
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to us at crm@mindheal.com Website: http://www.mindheal.org/. We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Challenging A Life Sentence

Three severely pathological cases… three gut-wrenching stories of abject despair… and three happy endings! I never fail to feel a sense of joyful elation that I was chosen to be an instrument of this amazing healing system.

People like Siddesh, Shrutika and Rukshana make it all worthwhile...


Watch the videos below


Mental Retardation: Is There A Cure?
One of the most heart-rending moments for any parent is the realisation that your child is mentally challenged. The diagnosis, usually delivered in the clinical confines of a doctor’s or psychologist’s office, is comparable to little else. It hits you like a thunderbolt.

I’ve met countless parents who have suffered this blow and by the time they decide to opt for homeopathic treatment for their children, they have lived with this crushing diagnosis for around three to five years.

Raising a mentally challenged child implies a life sentence for both child and parent. Apart from the fact that the child will probably never be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with other children, and later other adults, it suggests a life of constant supervision.

Mental retardation is a pathological disease that is usually genetically loaded and linked to chromosomal abnormalities. Sometimes, it arises from birth trauma to the skull and brain, and at other times, from medication taken by the mother during pregnancy and if she has a history of substance abuse. And there are other causes.

But its etiology makes little difference to a parent whose child is unable to comprehend the simplest commands and take care of himself/herself. By now, shattered dreams are a distant dot on the horizon. Having a mentally challenged child requires parents to draw on all their strength and inner resources to simply raise their child as best as they can.

But the question is: Does having a mentally challenged child necessarily mean being handed a ‘life sentence’? Is there hope? How much can homeopathy help?

The great thing about homeopathy is that is has a remedy for ALL ills. Indeed, it is a panacea for everything that ails you – on both the mental and physical planes. But how successfully can homeopathy treat pathological cases or cases of genetic abnormality?

The interaction between your genetic template, your basic constitutional nature and homeopathy is as complex as it is unbelievable. If it is your constitutional nature that determines your potential as a human being, it is the twists and turns in this basic constitutional nature that leads to disease.

While genes play a dominant role in determining who you are, the ‘who you are’ is not set in stone. That is because although your genetic endowment is the primary determinant of your constitutional nature, its expression depends on many other factors. And this is where homeopathy steps in – it can correct the effects of many, if not all, of these impediments.

For instance, the mother’s emotional and physical history is sometimes crucial to whether the child is born healthy or not. The mother’s history (for instance, the effects of a Cesarean Section) interacts with the child’s genetic template and can produce disease whereas the same child born via the normal birth process would have probably been born normal and healthy.

Another example. Sickly babies are often assaulted with a barrage of strong drugs soon after birth. (See Shrutika’s case below). If the child is genetically predisposed to, say, mental retardation, the drugs further twist the baby’s constitutional make-up and this leads to all sorts of complications.

Case 1: Mental Retardation: Siddesh
So what exactly am I saying? With homeopathic intervention, can a mentally challenged child hope to live a normal life? Young Siddesh, who was born mentally challenged – and who now dreams of becoming computer engineer – would definitely answer in the affirmative! I have been treating Siddesh for ten years and have watched him evolve from a hopeless and helpless four-year-old to a boy who enrolled in a school for normal children and who, as a teenager, now uses the Internet. (Watch the video)


The word that best describes Siddesh when he first came to my clinic is ‘slow’. He just sat there and stared at me, tongue protruding slightly and saliva drooling ever so slightly. His mother said he took 30 minutes to drink a glass of milk; he would sit almost motionless; and stare blankly into space.

Siddesh and his mother kept their appointments diligently for around seven months before their visits began to wane. Thankfully, the boy showed rapid improvement in the first four to five months: his power of comprehension improved significantly; he was more alert; he began playing with other children; and he even became demanding and threw a few tantrums when he didn’t get what he wanted!

Then something terribly significant happened. A few months into treatment, Siddesh developed convulsions. He would wake up screaming at night and go into a seizure. Oddly, this usually coincided with the full moon.

Siddesh’s mother was naturally upset and worried. But I took a bold decision and thankfully, she went with it. I advised her not to take her son to an allopath, who would inevitably prescribe medication that would undo the good homeopathy had done. Siddesh’s seizures were a sign that his brain was finally ‘waking up’. It was a sign that there was sudden and enhanced neural activity in his brain, and wasn’t this precisely the result we were looking for? If I needed proof that I was on the right track, Siddesh’s mother told me that ever since the convulsions had begun, her son’s mind seemed to get sharper! Remember the Fever Effect?

A couple of weeks later, the case took another sharp turn. As treatment progressed, the boy suddenly started exhibiting certain peculiarities, and the frequency of his convulsions had also increased. He began making odd squeaking sounds to gain attention and would also laugh inappropriately. Children who do not speak, including autistic children, are difficult to assess and treat. All I had was a description of Siddesh’s behaviour from his mother, and isn’t a mother impression of her child always skewed? It was a tough case to crack.

Finally, I used all the mental resources at my disposal and was able to solve this case. By the end of a year since he came to me, Siddesh was back to where he was before his peculiar behaviour manifest itself. His mind had woken up; his power of comprehension showed increasing improvement; his attention span had greatly increased; his social interaction had also improved; and he executed all his daily activities as any other child would. And, yes, his convulsions had also stopped.

A few months down the line, when Siddesh and his mother dropped in to my clinic, I was in for another surprise – Siddesh was now studying in a school for normal children! And, what do you know? He had also stood first in a writing competition!!!

Let’s return to the original question: Can homeopathy help a mentally challenged child live a normal life? If being able to take care of oneself and being content is the yardstick, the answer would have to be a resounding ‘yes’!

Case analysis for homeopaths: Click here.

Case 2: Hydrocephalus: Shrutika


Little Shrutika was cursed by fate. Or so it seemed. There was a time, before her mother brought her to me, that her parents felt their daughter was better of dead. The child was seriously ill and beset with numerous health issues, including hydrocephalus. Worse, three months of hospitalisation had not helped. At the very end of their tether, they brought Shrutika to me.

There was always something about her eyes – sad yet smiling. Yes, there was definitely something special about little Shrutika. Perhaps it is her Life Force shining through, a Life Force that keeps the child on top of every situation, including those that almost did her in. When Shrutika smiles, you can’t help but smile back at her.

Like Siddesh,  Shrutika’s case too was very challenging. It is another pathological case, shaped by genetics and exhibiting serious abnormalities.

Shrutika was born of a normal delivery but soon after birth, she developed pneumonia that rattled ominously in her little chest. She also had a severe rash that she couldn’t shake off. Add to this the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in her skull and underdeveloped fontanels (soft skull plates) and you have a child whose chances of survival are slim.

Due to her health problems, doctors had bombarded Shrutika with serious drugs that made her resistant to medication. Due to her persistent rash, he was plastered with various ointments, keeping the building toxins trapped in her body. Doctors also advised her parents to allow them to embed a shunt in her brain to drain the excess CSF. Due to a turn of fate, the surgery could not be scheduled as Shrutika was still riddled with infection. I would have to say her survival is nothing short of a miracle.

As is often the case with pathological cases, Shrutika was brought to me in desperation. She was only seven and a half months old. Today, the child is a bubbly seven year old. No, nothing but nothing can keep her down. I believe Shrutika’s indomitable spirit is a reflection of a very positive and strong Life Force, something that will see her through think and thin – always with a smile on her cherubic face.

Case 3: Mental Retardation: Rukshana


Sometimes, I honestly feel my clinic is a halfway house for the damned. Harsh words like these come to mind when I look at the utter despair on the faces of parents with seriously challenged children and wonder what could have gone so wrong.

But ours not to question why. It is the homeopath’s duty to only understand, assess and treat with zest and perhaps even a prayer. These were the thoughts that ran through my head when Rukshana, her mother and her sisters walked into my clinic ten years ago. The case is so stark that I can still picture the girl as if I had met her only yesterday.

Rukshana was mentally retarded – and so were her two sisters and four brothers. Yes, every single one of the seven siblings was mentally challenged, to varying degrees. Two of her brothers had died and the three that survived were so unstable that they sometimes had to be put in restraints.

But back to Rukshana. The teenager’s salient symptoms were: childish and regressive behaviour and constant inappropriate giggling. She would keep lifting her hand to her mouth and giggle at nothing in particular. Her sisters behaved in a similar manner and would also get angry.

I treated only Rukshana. A few weeks later, the teenager developed the classic cold and cough associated with the homeopathic Healing Crisis. This is a stage where the immune system starts responding to the homeopathic remedy and begins to fight disease. One of the first developments is the classic ‘homeopathic cold and cough’, where the body begins to eliminate toxins produced by disease. This is a definite indicator that the practitioner has administered the right remedy and that the patient is on a healing path. The Healing Crisis is also associated with the other organs of elimination such as the skin and bowels.

Three months into treatment and Rukshana’s peculiar behaviour vanished. She no longer behaved childishly or laughed inappropriately. In fact, the young lady had progressed to a stage where her parents had even got her married!

Cheers to happy endings!


Re-awaken the healer in you…
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to us at crm@mindheal.com Website: http://www.mindheal.org/. We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Autism: Louder Than Words

It starts with the subtlest signs… a suspicion that’s usually pushed into the subconscious for fear of facing a devastating truth. Many, many months on, crossed fingers and even prayers don’t seem to work as vague symptoms turn into a definite pattern that confirms a painful reality. It’s a moment of truth parents of 2 in every 1,000 children face every year, globally, when they are forced to verbalise what they were afraid to admit all along – the A-word.

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that continues to baffle medical science even today, although there is a general consensus that it is broadly the result of ‘faulty signalling’ in the brain. In other words, in autistic children, there appears to be a dysfunction in the chemicals and neural pathways that help different areas of the brain communicate with each other.

This faulty signalling results in the classic symptoms of autism: Withdrawal, bursts of aggression, inability to communicate and socialise, repetitive behaviour, hypersensitivity to stimuli such as touch and light, and a host of physical deficiencies.

It is a heart-rending experience to watch an autistic child, and the only way I can describe what they are experiencing is a feeling of being trapped.

Autistic children are prisoners of their brain – with no way out. What we label as ‘sudden and violent outbursts’ are nothing but an expression of unbearable frustration at being unable to express their thoughts and feelings or convey what they want. Try as they might, the words just won’t come… they just won’t! When frustration boils over, a ‘violent outburst’ follows. What we call ‘obstinacy’ is thus nothing but an expression of utter helplessness. An autistic child cannot understand why adults don’t understand them!

According to medical research, autism has a strong genetic component, which suggests that autistic children are born autistic or with an autistic predisposition. However, it is not quite clear whether this applies to all autistic children, as researchers have linked other, external factors to this disorder: overload of vaccines and / or antibiotics and steroids, and exposure to harmful chemicals. This implies that some children are born with an autistic predisposition and external factors precipitate the onset of the disorder.

Classical homeopathy is not inconsistent with the medical view although the interpretation is vastly different. Here’s where the twain diverge: whereas conventional medicine is unable to treat autism, homeopathy can bring about considerable improvement and, on occasion, bring an autistic child to a state of being where they approximate normalcy.

Caring for an autistic child is emotionally and financially exhausting. Which parent hasn’t done the rounds of speech, neuro-developmental and behaviour therapists? (Many, as at the behest of misguided physicians, even approach psychiatrists.) This course can, to some extent, bring about improvement in the child but progress is, at best, minimal and / temporary. Allopathic drugs cannot reverse the genetic or neurological processes that cause this disorder; they only ‘control’ and ‘manage’ the child’s behaviour 9as they do all disease).

Speechless!
Unfortunately, homeopathy is rarely chosen as the preferred remedy for autism. Yet, it is the best form of treatment for ASD. Am I saying that homeopathy can work miracles? Well, take a look at 4-year-old Sami Khan, who was diagnosed as autistic at the age of one and a half.

Just 2 months after I began to treat Sami, he began to speak a few words; he began to sing; he had established eye contact; and his destructive bouts had ceased.


Oct 11, 2001: Sami is brought to MindHeal. He shows no signs of speech and is given to extremely violent outbursts. He screams when hungry, and cries and rolls on the floor when he doesn’t get his way. Sometimes, he is downright destructive, throwing things, hitting out at people around him, pulling their hair and even biting them. In other words, his behaviour is often uncontrollable. (‘According to classical homeopathy, his behaviour is ‘out of control’, which is typical of the Syphilitic Miasm.)

At times, Sami also ‘goes missing’, wandering aimlessly in the neighbourhood if unsupervised. He writes on the walls at home and refuses to play with other children. But he loves watching television and often hums along with a song playing on TV.

Sami’s parents have taken him to doctors at one of Mumbai’s best hospitals, Bombay Hospital. They are advised to get the child psychiatric treatment and speech therapy. Doctors also prescribe strong medicines to keep Sami’s destructive behaviour under control.

Dec 3, 2001: Sami is calm and composed. He begins talking. And he establishes eye contact.

In the course of 10 months, Sami is admitted to school, a red-letter day for any parent, more so for Sami’s!

Homeopathy & Autism
In the context of homeopathy, autism is a disorder which indicates that the child is born into the last of the Three Miasms. The Third Miasm (Syphilis) is the destructive or most severe stage of disease, any disease. When you fall sick, you usually transition from the First to the Second and / or the Third Miasm, whereas autistic children are born directly into the Third (Syphilitic) Miasm. This is what makes treating autism so challenging. Case Taking is especially difficult as autistic children cannot communicate. So there is little to go by except the child’s behaviour and the parents’ history.

Click here for Sami's Case Analysis


Mom’s The Word
Mother’s History: Thus, diagnosing autism rests largely on the parents’ history, especially the mother’s history. Following are the aspects to focus on:

1. Mother’s emotional, psychological and mental balance
2. History of miscarriage
3. Cesarean delivery: (An unnatural form of delivery where the infant is abruptly ‘ripped’ from the womb.)
4. Hormonal treatment during pregnancy
5. Antibiotics to treat infections during pregnancy

This does not mean that every pregnant mother who fulfils one or more of these criteria will bear an autistic child. But the reverse is usually true. That is, autistic children are most likely to have mothers who would check off one or more of these criteria.

Dad’s The Word
Father’s History: There’s tons of literature on the all-important role of a pregnant mother and her influence – how she feels and what she does – on the growing foetus. So you can’t blame dads for feeling left out! But ‘pregnant dads’ are not off the hook. Read on…

When it comes to all birth-related and genetically loaded disorders (such as autism, hydrocephaly, mental retardation and muscular dystrophy), the parents’ history is crucial in determining whether the child develops the disorder or not, and its expression.

What do I mean by ‘parents’ history’? Unlike conventional medicine, which views ‘history’ as ‘prevalence of a specific disorder in the parents and in the extended family’, homeopathy goes much, much deeper.

When it comes to the mother’s history, points 2 – 5 (above) need no explanation. It is point 1 that provides the key to diagnosing and prescribing. So, does point 1 apply to the mother or father when it comes to figuring out these all-important clues?

In either case, the mental and emotional state of the parent before and / or during conception (in the case of the mother, during pregnancy as well) is critical to the disease picture in the child.

Generally, it is the mother’s history that is important. The father’s mental and emotional state is relevant only when the child’s genetics closely resemble the father’s genetics. Clues to this can be found in a strong physical resemblance between child and father and / or when the nature and temperament of father and child are similar.

In Sami’s case, I found that the child’s mother felt neglected by her husband, who didn’t speak to her for almost her entire pregnancy. As a result, she indulged in attention-seeking behaviour including tantrums, tearing at her clothes and even biting and injuring herself. Note how her emotional state and even her behaviour perfectly mirror Sami’s autistic expression.

Here’s a case where the autistic child’s genetics matched those of his father. Shamik bore an uncanny physical resemblance to his dad. Both were lean, and their facial features and tapering chins indicated their especially sensitive nature. Apart from this, they were both extremely quiet, withdrawn and depressed.

GENETICALLY SIMILAR: Young Shamik and his dad

When I took the father’s history, I found that he was struggling with serious emotional issues before and during his wife’s pregnancy, and his emotional reaction to these issues perfectly mirrored Shamik’s autistic behaviour!

The ‘Fever Effect’
Four years ago, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore in the US discovered an intriguing phenomenon – intriguing to the world of medicine and homeopathy.

They discovered that when autistic children developed a fever, they showed significant improvement, sometimes dramatic improvement, in speech, language, attention span, eye contact and the ability to communicate. The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, were the result of a study on 80 autistic children aged 2 to 18 and whose behaviour was rated by their parents, before, during andafter an episode of fever. In 80 per cent of the children, symptoms of autism subsided and even disappeared during the fever but re-appeared after the fever subsided.

Unable to explain this at the physiological level, the researchers made the following observations: "The results of this study are important because they show us that the autistic brain is plastic or capable of altering current connections and forming new ones in response to different experiences or conditions," said Andrew Zimmerman, a senior researcher on the project.

According to Dr Gary Goldstein, President and CEO of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, "Pilot research studies such as this provide clues about the underlying metabolic changes in the brain that may prove to be targets for novel autism therapies." 

I am quoting this research study as it highlights a stunning parallel between the homeopathic approach to autism and these findings in the realm of conventional medicine.

Again, although conventional medicine has found no cure for this disorder, homeopathy has been treating it with considerable success for decades. Indeed homeopaths have long since observed that autistic children show significant behavioural improvement when they develop a fever.

The objective of homeopathy is to return a sick individual from the Syphilitic or Sycotic (Third and Second Miasm) to Psora (First Miasm). The Psoric Miasm is typified by ‘inflammation’ and fever. A return to Psora is thus always typified by ‘inflammatory’ symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, skin eruptions and high temperature.’ This is a sign that the mind and body are expelling toxins from the patient’s system in the process of rooting out disease. It is also a sign that the patient is returning to the Psoric state.

The italisised quotes 9above) made by the researchers are of special interest to homeopaths. One, that “the autistic brain is plastic” or changeable and that autism is a reversible disease. And two, that fever causes fundamental, if temporary, metabolic changes in the brain.

While treating all disease, the fundamental aim of the homeopath is to reconfigure and fine-tune the patient’s very metabolism and immune system. It works just the same with autism. A skilled homeopath cures by rebalancing the constitutional nature of an individual to correct (faulty) genetic expression. 

Could conventional medicine have stumbled upon what homeopaths have known for 200 years? Could homeopaths and medical doctors be speaking the same language? I believe this is true. It’s how we use and practise this knowledge that makes the crucial difference between ‘cure’ and ‘managing disease’.

Next: In Part II of this post, we will continue to explore pathological, genetically linked disorders

Re-awaken the healer in you…
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to us at crm@mindheal.com Website: www.mindheal.org. We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Your MIND: The Window To Disease

That patients recover from illness doesn’t really amaze me any more. After more than 20 years of practising homeopathy, what still takes my breath away is the transformation patients go through, completely and wholly, and the speed with which this often occurs.

This transformation is apparent in this short video of young Aneesa Ansari, who could barely sit upright on her own and needed help to walk. She had developed tuberculosis a couple of years earlier. She had grown resistant to the drugs and, over the next two years, developed tubercular meningitis, which had taken the disease process to her brain.

When Aneesa was helped into my clinic, she was disoriented, to say the least. She had been experiencing a high-grade fever that she could not shake off for four months. Despite being admitted to hospital four to five times, conventional physicians were unable to help her. Desperate and frightened, Aneesa entered my clinic, cannula still attached to her arm.

Barely a month after I began to treat her, Aneesa went from being a very sick young woman to a happy healthy and vibrant 24-year-old. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I believe in miracles and homeopathy is one of them. This wonderful system of self-healing is a lifeline for many, arriving at my clinic as they do with a sense of panic and helplessness.

Is This The Same Patient? (2.11min)

Aneesa is one of many patients who come to MindHeal Homeopathy as emergency cases.

But how does someone so sick recover so quickly and so completely? The lay public is sceptical about using homeopathy in an emergency situation. Isn’t allopathy what you’re looking for in serious and acute cases? 

Before we come to that, let’s take a look at Safina, a 26-year-old homemaker who was brought to me earlier this year. She had been experiencing frequent splitting headaches, and her vision was blurred. After the usual rounds of opthalmologists, Safina had been referred to a neurologist, who found her intracranial (inside the skull) and intraocular (inside the eye) pressure abnormally high.


Doctors then recommended CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) tapping to relieve the pressure inside her eye. They began periodically drawing the fluid out via a lumbar puncture. Thus, Safina had doctors draining fluid from her spine on a fortnightly basis. Finally, doctors recommended that a thecoperitoneal shunt be placed inside Safina’s spine, to make the tapping procedure more convenient! All they needed to do was open the valve and let out the excess fluid when her vision grew blurry. 

Sometimes, the solutions thrown up by conventional medicine boggle the mind. When will physicians realise that you simply cannot ‘drain away disease’ from the human body?

In Safina’s case, the remedy I prescribed cleared up her symptoms in just 15 days. I had located the disease process at its source. Treatment, of course, continued much longer but relief came swift and easily. As with all patients, the upshot was that Safina began to feel more alive and free of the emotional burden she has been carrying. Take a look…

How is this possible? Without returning to the basic tenets of homeopathy, there is one pivotal point I would like to make, and that is: that the MIND is the window to all disease.

Patients usually provide a wealth of information during the initial consultation. All of it is relevant but the important elements are not flagged in red! Evaluating a case and piecing it together is like playing ‘join the dots’. The experienced homeopath must pick out the dots and then connect them to form a complete picture.

We have to first pick out the dots, or, what I call the patient’s ‘key sensitivity – their core fears, and psychological and emotional injuries that dictate their thoughts, actions and emotions in their everyday lives.

Cheers For Fears
Fear, by its very nature, is buried deep in the unconscious, its manifestation masked but still visible to the trained eye. But the homeopath does not psychoanalyse. All he/she needs to do is identify the fear and understand how it is expressed. There is no need to go backwards to understand why it exists.

After identifying the patient’s key sensitivity, the next step is to understand how the patient has coped with these core issues. In other words, the homeopath must identify the patient's main defence mechanisms.
Human nature presents a wide array of personalities. Some people act out their feelings and fears, others bottle them up, while still others compensate or overcompensate. Identifying the patient’s coping mechanisms and watching them at work in the patient’s life is critical to arriving at an accurate diagnosis, or in homeopathic terms, the right rubrics.

In Safina’s case, her lack of education and frustration at being unable to offer her children a good education was her ‘key sensitivity’. The other key issue was the constant verbal abuse from her in-laws and her refusal to bare her feelings. Neither did Safina say anything to her parents as she didn’t want to "burden" them with her problems. Her "stoic silence" and controlled nature were her coping mechanisms.

(To understand just how identifying the ‘key sensitivity’ is actually the key to every case and, I have discussed my rubrics and remedy in Safina’s case here.)

Interestingly, some patients experience a perceptible change in their health within a couple of days after treatment begins; others in less than a day. There are still others in whom reversing the disease process takes longer.

Get Well ‘Soon’
So what determines the speed of recovery? In simple terms, the human constitution has a genetically determined pace at which changes take places in each individual – changes of all kinds. This includes the pace at which disease sets in, their ‘boiling point’ or the point at which it intensifies before it becomes destructive, the progress of disease from one layer to another, the individual’s tolerance and reactivity to stress, and their ability to absorb and adapt to unfavourable changes in life circumstances.

‘Constitutional speed’ varies between individuals, some ‘changing gears’ quickly; others not so fast. This explains why some individuals recover slowly while others, like Aneesa and Safina, recover from serious diseases in a matter of days or weeks.

Also, closely tied to the recovery process this is the human immune system. We classically think of the immune system as that which fights germs and keeps us free of disease. Many are also aware that the immune system plays a crucial role in healing all ailments. But it’s more complex than that. The immune system does much more, even playing a part in determining your state of mind.

A word here about the way conventional medicine views illness vis-à-vis holistic systems of medicines such as homeopathy. Conventional medicine takes a mechanistic view of the human body and attempts to "cure" individual symptoms. Physicians are of the view that fixing the symptom is tantamount to cure.

They could not be farther from the truth. The truth is that disease is a process and this process manifests itself when the body can no longer cope and adjust to the disease process. As a result, something "gives way" in the body, leading to and overt symptom or ailment. Any attempt to suppress, manage or control (a la allopathy) the symptom or ailment only drives the disease process deeper. Eventually, when the patient is led to believe he/she is cured, they are actually getting sicker!

House-Cleaning Anyone?
Homeopathy, on the other hand, identifies the very source of the disease process and then altogether reverses it. When this happens, not only is the presenting ailment cured; the patient is cured of all that ails him/her at a deeper level. He/she is thus permanently cured.

To present an analogy… a can of insect-repellent will take care of nasty bugs but only a round of pest-control can effect a thorough house-cleaning!

Lesson Learnt: Symptomatic treatment cannot cure. Homeopathy is a science that altogether reverses the disease process. This is another reason this wonderful art and science can cure diseases and disorders that are completely untreatable by conventional medicine - pathological and incurable cases that conventional medicine has long since given up on. House-cleaning anyone?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Open Sesame: The Key To Cracking A Case

It is with a sense of excitement that I write this post (apologies for the delay) as I have been preparing for an upcoming seminar (Mind & Miasms: Throwing The Constitutional Switch, which I will be presenting on April 3, 2011, Hahnemann Day). With preparation uppermost on my mind, I thought I would discuss the subject of my presentation here, which is the all-important role of the Mind in disease – its etiology, expression, experience and reversal – as the key that ‘opens a case’.
The mind-body connection has been discussed ad nauseum and has even become something of a cliché to many, both homeopaths and the lay public. While many practitioners acknowledge this truth and even believe in it, they falter in its application as classical homeopathy meant it to be.

In other words, while many practitioners believe they are addressing mind and body, they apply this knowledge only in a general, superficial sort of way. These homeopaths are guilty of the “sin of symptomatic prescribing”, making them no different from conventional physicians whose mechanistic approach separates, rather than blends, mind and body.

Hippocrates
Forgive me if I sound holier than thou. I don’t mean to. This post is a heartfelt attempt to clear a few misconceptions while asserting one simple truth – that there are no shortcuts to practising homeopathy, no formulae to arrive at rubrics and to prescribing the right constitutional remedy.

The human mind is a wonderfully complex phenomenon, and although responsible for the infinite variety in human behaviour, its chicanery becomes the homeopath’s concern when leading the patient down the path of disease. Let us not forget that the myriad personality traits and their unique expression serve one single purpose – to defend. And herein lies the crux of Miasms.

Miasms Is Not A ‘Concept’
I have been teaching homeopathy for more than two decades and it never fails to surprise me when a student asks me to explain “the concept of Miasms”. Far from being a “concept”, Miasm is a state of being – it is THE primary state of existence of the human individual.

Before I get to the crux of this post, there’s something I would like to repeat from previous posts. Before human beings even walked this earth, the evolution of life itself began at the cellular level. And the way in which the cell reacts to injury and harm – its defences – is mirrored by the Mind. Thus, the Mind is nothing but an extension of the cell and its defences. Classical homeopathy, as we all know, calls this defensive pattern of reaction Miasm.

But it is not enough to determine a patient’s Miasm. No, it doesn’t take a genius to assess Maismatic states. Nor is it a challenge to figure out a patient’s key behavioural traits such as passive aggression, an all-pervasive feeling of abandonment or the drive to overachieve. These are external, outward expressions of the patient’s Miasmatic state.

Oh, That Elusive Key!
But the key to opening a case lies not in the ‘what’ but the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’. Behaviour is nothing but an outward expression of frustrations, disappointments, psychological traumas and other key issues that are turning points in an individual’s life. These are the ‘whys’ or internal reasons (what I call “key sensitivities”) that lead to the ‘what’ (behaviour). Thus, a behavioural description is insufficient, and arriving at rubrics on the basis of behaviour alone can be very misleading.

Hahnemann
Thus the homeopath must ask: What led to this behaviour”? What provoked the patient to become, say, flamboyant and exhibitionistic? What is this particular patient compensating for? What is he denying? What exactly does he fear most? Find the answer to these questions – determine the patient’s “key sensitivity” – and you’ve found the key that will open the case!

It is these key and core issues that are expressed in the patient’s disposition and behaviour, always of course through the prism of his / her Miasm. But to arrive at this “ah experience”, the practitioner must undertake a detailed Case Taking. Like a detective, the homeopath must probe deeper, listen to what the patient is not saying and read between the lines to find embedded clues, always guided by one question – What is the issue the patient is most sensitive to?

A detailed and carefully guided Case Taking will reveal exactly “what makes the patient tick”. Bingo! We have discovered the patient’s “key sensitivity"!

Divining a patient’s key sensitivity is not easy. It means walking through the rubble of a patient’s life with a divining rod loaded with a keen sense of intuition. It means weeding out irrelevant details while picking up relevant clues from debris of the patient’s life. The skilled homeopath eventually pieces them together to form a thread that sews mind and body, disease and health, patient and remedy.

It is only at this stage that the patient reveals their true drug picture. It is only now that you can arrive at the right rubrics and the right constitutional remedy. The right rubrics are terribly nuanced just as remedies are.

Playing “Matchmaker”
Let me illustrate this with an example from my own experience. Mr Shah was many things but most of all, he was a workaholic. In fact, he was obsessed with work, which over the years had become central to his life to the exclusion of all else. When work wasn’t on track or deadlines were not met, Mr Shah turned angry and he turned his rage at both employees and himself.

Kent
Mr Shah was also not a talker and the one thing he didn’t like talking about was himself! No, Case Taking wasn’t easy and I had to depend on details provided by his wife. I arrived at the following rubrics: workaholic; ambitious, anger answer obliged to and prescribed Nux Vomica.

A couple of months later, Mr Shah returned to my clinic. He wasn’t feeling better and his urticaria, indigestion and painful, ingrown toenails had grown worse. I asked myself where I had erred. This time, I probed further and spoke to Mr Shah alone while his wife waited outside. Patience and persistence paid off and after a short while, Mr Shah told me that before he was married, he had been jilted by a woman he had loved. However, the young lady refused to marry him as he wasn’t “doing well enough” (read “good job”).

There it was – an emotional, love angle that had injured him deeply. This broken relationship revealed Mr Shah’s “key sensitivity”. This key rejection had led him to compensate and project himself as an ambitious and successful businessman, an armour that would guard against future rejection.

This single fact – the key to Mr Shah’s case – completely altered Mr Shah’s rubrics. The new (and accurate) rubrics: workaholic; ambitious, anger answer obliged to, anger work about (Kneer) = Natrum Mur. Natrum Mur, in the sycotic phase, will exhibit affectation, extravagance and too exclusive.

After discovering the key to any case, the rest is easy. We must uncover how and why the patient progressed from one Miasmatic state to the other. Since all disease reflects a Syphilitic state, we are thus looking for the progression from Psora to Syphilis or Sycosis to Syphilis or, in a classic case, from Psora to Sycosis to Syphilis.

If the patient’s history reveals why the constitution has fallen sick, his key sensitivity will reveal exactly how he has coped; and what went out of control or why he has turned indifferent or what he is compensating for. Critically, his key sensitivity will link effect with cause. Thus, we determine his Miasm at both the physical and mental levels.

When this picture is complete, you will realise that every single time the patient switches from one Miasmatic state to another (“throws the constitutional switch”), it is the “key sensitivity” that turns the key. When we discover the “key sensitivity”, we find the absolute, perfect match, with the levers between human being and plant /animal / mineral meshing perfectly. Only then can we reverse the disease process completely, comprehensively and permanently.

Miasmatic Mathematics?
As I mentioned earlier, there are no shortcuts in homeopathy. Yet, many have fallen prey to them. There are homeopaths who make no bones about prescribing symptomatically (even though they are loathe to admitting it!) and there are those who seem to be more diligent.

Ortega
Alas, the latter, while paying lip service to the Miasmatic interpretation of disease, use set mathematical formulae within its scope to determine a patient’s rubrics. But merely taking Miasmatic mental and physical rubrics, adding thermals and thirst to them and then scouring the Materia Medica for a possible match is simply not good enough.

To guard against the “sin of oversimplification”, let us return to Mr Shah’s case. The patient said he “needed” to be in an air-conditioned environment at all times. Many would instantly classify him as hot. But his need for an air-conditioned environment was actually not linked in any way to his thermals. Mr Shah was a wealthy businessman and was simply used to air-conditioning! It was a lifestyle choice.

So, beware of the pitfalls while weeding the chaff from the grain. And always remember, to make all the levers of the case and remedy mesh perfectly, you must divine the patient’s key sensitivity – you have to play the game of dominos backwards!
 
Back To Basics
Here, I have selected key developments in the origin and evolution of the Doctrine of Miasms to reflect the mosaic of thoughts and shift in focus as the greats explored this wonderful healing science. But is an understanding of Miasms enough? Read on…

Hippocrates (460-370 BC)
In the 4th century BC, Hippocrates pronounced: “Omoia omoiois eisin Iamata”, which when translated from Greek means “similars cure similars”. Hippocrates believed that disease was caused by an imbalance in the four bodily humors as well as the influence of external forces. He firmly believed that medicine should aim to build the patient’s strength (immunity).

Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843)
In spite of the law of “similia similibus curantur”, Samuel Hahnemann, founder of classical homeopathy, found that all medicines known to homeopathy failed to bring a real cure in diseases.
He later realised that there was something deeper that determined disease. Many years later, he propounded his Doctrine of Miasms. He called this deeper determining influence “a groove, a pit or a germ”, which he named “Miasm”. Hahnemann categorised this infection as the three Miasms.

Dr James Tyler Kent (1849-1916)
In Kent’s lectures, he said that thinking, willing and doing represent the three Miasms. “These are the three things in life from which finally proceed the chronic Miasm. The person who loves crime lives in it. It becomes part of his nature and shows itself in the external man. The man who loves truth and humanity, lives in that idea, and it becomes part of his nature and it can be seen in his looks and his life.”

Dr P S Ortega (1919-2005)
Ortega was the first to describe in detail the three basic Miasmatic themes or “big” Miasms. He was also the first to correlate Miasms with cell pathology or fundamental alterations in normal cellular functions. He classified these as Deficiency (Psora), Excess (Sycosis) and Perversion (Syphilis). Ortega said the original Miasmatic diseases that Hahnemann explored represent three fundamental expressions of imbalance and that these were inbuilt or innate predispositions as reflected by the human constitution.

Ortega also applied the doctrine of Miasm to the observation of the human being by describing its expression in an individual’s attitude and appearance.

He was also the first to reveal the Trimiasmatic drug picture.

Dr Prafull Vijaykar
Vijayakar
Building on Orgeta’s observations, Dr Vijaykar further explored the correlation between homeopathy and modern science as expressed in cell pathology, extending it to genetics, embryology and physiology.

He explained that every cell or living thing has a survival instinct. To survive, a cell has to defend itself against any kind of hostile stimulus. The primary reaction of any cell is to defend. Dr Vijayakar defines Miasm as the defence of a human being to any stimulus or action. He said it is how a human being defends and reacts that decides their defence. Dr Vijaykar equated Miasms to pathology at the cellular level.

Dr Vijayakar also elaborated on Ortega’s doctrine that Miasm is reflected in one’s constitution, looks, behaviour, nature and attitude.

His Chart of Suppression, which helps understand Hering’s Law of Cure, is invaluable in understanding the progression of disease from one layer to another.

Dr Rajan Sankaran
Sankaran
Dr Rajan Sankaran is best known for his understanding of disease as a delusion, his use of mind symptoms and dreams, his classification of remedy states into kingdoms and his additions to the existing Miasms. According to Dr Sankaran, Miasms represent the pace and desperation perceived by the Individual in a given situation. He classified pace and desperation into ten types: Acute, Typhoid, Ringworm, Psora, Sycosis, Malaria, Tubercular, Leprosy, Syphilis and Cancer.

His work on the plant kingdom and the elements has helped in the application of homeopathy by pointing the practitioner to the sensitivity of the patient in each case.

Conclusion
Every great homeopath before us and those among us too has made great strides in adding to this amazing system of medicine. Unfortunately, bickering, squabbling and petty one-upmanship occasionally eclipses these contributions.

We must applaud each one and strive to add to this great pool of knowledge and its application if we are to hone our skills and heal with confidence and certainty.

I thus conclude that while Miasm is the lock that guards the entry to a case, the patient’s core sensitivity is the key that opens it. After determining the patient’s key sensitivity, we must observe its expression at all Miasmatic levels.

Remember, just as every patient has a key sensitivity, every remedy too has its own unique sensitivity. It is only by understanding both that we can find the perfect match and arrive at the right constitutional remedy.

So how exactly does the practitioner determine this key sensitivity? Unfortunately, the answer cannot be found in the textbooks. The process is the result of assimilating the wisdom of the greats and blending it with the practitioner’s own intuition.

At my upcoming seminar, ‘Mind & Miasms: Throwing The Constitutional Switch’, I will demonstrate with video cases precisely how homeopaths can recognise the key sensitivity in different remedy pictures. Armed with this understanding, it is easy to treat even the most challenging and baffling cases – pathological, incurable and psychiatric disease cases.

Re-awaken the healer in you…
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to us at crm@mindheal.com Website: www.mindheal.org. We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Is Your Personality Making You Sick?

How many times have we complimented someone on how “well” they’re looking? You know, that “prosperous’, full-in-the-face, filled-out appearance that usually suggests good food, the comforts of life and pots of money.

Now I have nothing against living the good life but what I am trying to say, to use a cliché, is that looks can indeed be deceptive. To the lay reader, this may sound farfetched but acquiring that “prosperous look” may not be reason to bring out the champagne.

King of all he surveys?
It could be indicative of an individual burdened with the stress of “making it big” or an individual whose body has accumulated so much stress over time that it has had to add ballast or “harden” itself lest the scales tip into a dangerous state of cellular chaos and disease.

Our “prosperous” friend’s rounded and filled-out appearance betrays the face of what classical homeopathy calls the Sycotic Miasm. (Click here to read about the 3 Miasms and understand what each one means).

To recap, for first-time readers, Miasm is a state of defence whose purpose is to protect the individual against threat, both perceived and real. It is an energetic and biochemical stance or reaction adopted by mind and body whose sole and ultimate aim is self-preservation, no matter how twisted, self-defeating or debilitating it might be.

All life on earth including ourselves is powered by an innate intelligence that governs all growth and development. It’s what keeps us alive and kicking. It is this innate intelligence – or vital force – that prompts the body to sacrifice a part to save the integrity of the whole. This is the reason why we fall sick.

Psora: Mother of all Disease
Having said that, let’s talk about defences. Now, defences are not a bad thing in and of themselves. Think of defence or Miasm as a default setting of the human race, something we possess by virtue of being alive and human.

The human infant is much too vulnerable at birth. Merely adjusting to life, with or without traumatic experiences, calls upon the infant and adult alike to adopt various types of defensive reactions to the onus of living, as it were. The defences one uses necessarily belong to one’s Miasmatic repertoire and are determined by it.

Again, to recap a little, each of us belongs to one of 3 Miasms and the one that typifies you is determined by your genetic make-up, constitution and temperament. This is your basic nature, which forms the matrix that assimilates all your life experiences. It is the tendency of your body and therefore your mind and your personality to react to everyday living in a specific way as determined by your genes.

Thus, your defence system, and the diseases you develop are also determined by your Miasm.

Miasms & Disease
Sycosis: Fighting Fit
So, what is the connection between Miasms and Disease? Disease manifests itself when your vital force or life force is overwhelmed, burdened beyond its capacity and unable to absorb stress or fend off infectious agents.

All disease – and this may be of special interest to those who suffer from chronic complaints – are defences the body uses to contain, accommodate and localise a life force under continued assault. This assault could arise from a variety of sources, more often than not, mental, psychological and emotional factors like deep-seated feelings of insecurity, inferiority, guilt, fear of rejection, loss and abandonment.

It is important to note that the diseases we get are chosen by our Miasmatic state (not by pathogens and other infectious agents!). And when they surface, it indicates just one thing – that the body’s defences cannot cope and defend against stress or pathogens any more. The body then throws up a symptom or sign to signal that something is amiss.

Syphilis: The Destroyer
Since I wrote my last two posts, I have been receiving a stream of emails with questions about Miasms, how and why we “switch gears” from one Miasm to another and whether one Miasm is “better or worse” than the others.

‘Choosing’ To Self-Destruct
Before I answer these questions, I’d like to introduce the case of Richa Gosar, one of my patients who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and whose cure was as dramatic as it was quick. This, again, raises another question: Why do some people recover more quickly than others?

Richa’s arthritis was so severe it had deformed her wrists and hands and had affected her knees as well. The pain was so debilitating, it had completely confined her to bed for about a month before I consulted with her.

She said the pain sometimes drove her so crazy that she would throw things about the house and deliberately hurt her husband because she “blamed him for her predicament”. There is another angle to Richa’s situation – she had been treated by another homeopath for a decade before I met her but since she had only grown worse (watch the video), she threatened to “call the cops on him”!

Rather than take that as a warning, I found Richa’s story heart-rending. Not only did her rheumatoid arthritis indicate that she was in the Syphillitic Miasm but her behaviour too clearly reflected this. The Syphillitic Miasm, which is characterised by a tendency towards violence, destruction and being out of control, was mirrored in Richa's violent outbursts and her need to cause pain. It was clearly mirrored in the disease she chose – an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks itself.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Homeopathy Cures In Months

I thought it would be simpler to negotiate the complex labyrinth of Miasms through a Q&A. So here goes. The general reader will thus be able to understand, not only how homeopathy works, but a Q&A will also provide a framework for individuals to corroborate their own experiences.

Why We Get Sick
What determines your Miasm?
There are essentially 3 Miasms – Psora, Sycotic and Syphillitic as explained briefly in my last post. Briefly, Psora is typified by extreme cellular and emotional sensitivity and diseases characterised by inflammation and pain. This is primarily how the cells, tissues, organs, body and mind react to stress (I use ‘stress’ as a generic term to denote physical, mental and emotional factors that burden or injure the mind and body).

The second Miasm, Sycosis, denotes a tendency towards accumulation and excess. Hence, under stress, the body produces fluids and tissues in excess of what is normal, to harden and protect the body from assault and injury. Sycotic defences and personality traits thus reflect ‘accumulation’ and ‘excess’.

The third Miasm, or the Syphillitic Miasm, is characterised by a destructive tendency – either inward or outward directed. This Miasm may also be characterised by extreme dullness, listlessness and a loss of interest in life. Diseases of the Syphilitic Miasm are clinical depression, uncontrollable anger, autoimmune diseases and the like etc.

The Miasm you belong to depends on your genetic endowment, biochemistry and inherited predispositions. Let us not forget another significant influencer of our personalities – the foetal environment and the forces that impinge on the mother during pregnancy and the birth process.

Yes, the mother’s moods, emotions, stresses, energy and intake of harmful substances all shape the developing foetus much more than we would like to imagine and they all shape the Miasm the infant is born into the world with. After all, what we elevate as ‘higher functions’ (of the pregnant mother) – thoughts, feelings, moods, etc – are nothing but complex chemical reactions within the body and these are easily passed on to the growing foetus.

All these inhertnt and inherited factors are collectively called your ‘constitution’. Thus, a homeopath prescribes a ‘constitutional remedy’.

Can one possess a combination of Miasmatic elements?
Every individual has a dominant Miasm. Although some individuals experience and exhibit a specific Miasm in its classic entirety, many of us are a combination of Miasmatic elements, despite our dominant Miasm.

Do all of us progress from Psora to the other two Miasms?
Not necessarily. One may be born into any one of the 3 Miasms. Let us take the example of a child born with the Syphillitic Miasm. An infant born with a pathological illness or disorder such as hydrocephaly, HIV or autism is typical of the third Miasm. This is evident in the physical destruction that is already present in the infant.

Does one remain in a single Miasm throughout life?
It all depends. One may remain in the same Miasm throughout one’s life or may switch Miasms. Switching gears or Miasms is very common. What is crucial is the direction of change. Psora to Sycosis to Syphilis is not healthy but the reverse is a good sign as the individual reverses from a state of mental and physical destructiveness through the ‘hardening’ stage and then into the Psoric or sensitive stage.

One’s state of health is always reflected in one’s appearance. In the following video, notice how my patients ‘look different’ on the road to recovery.

What's Your Miasm?

Why do we ‘switch’ Miasms?
This brings us to the all-important question of ‘switching’ or changing Miasmatic states. The short answer is: Of course, most of us change Miasms as we go through life, depending on life circumstances.

For instance, a cyst or benign tumour develop in individuals who are in the Sycotic Miasm. The development of the growth itself indicates a heightened disease process. But should the tumour turn destructive and cancerous, it indicates that the individual has ‘switched gears’ from the Sycotic Miasm to the Syphillitic Miasm.

Under sustained stress, a Psoric individual may develop simple arthritis with no structural damage to their joints. But when the immune system and the body are exhausted, the individual could turn Sycotic, exhibiting the development of osteophytes. If they were to switch to the Syphillitic Miasm, they would progress to osteoporosis.


This, of course, is a simplified explanation meant to illustrate a point. Many individuals develop different types of diseases through the course of their lives – but always according to the law of Miasms.

So what exactly makes us switch gears? Life is a complex and colourful thing full of hope, anticipation, pain, disappointments, excitement and happiness and a whole lot more. As we experience this marvellous miracle, most of us encounter experiences whose impact is sudden and powerful. It is these life experiences that often cause us to switch to a more healthy state or one ridden with disease.

Sometimes all it takes is the death of a loved one, a financial crisis or the break-up of a cherished relationship to push us into the Syphilitic Miasm. This doesn’t mean that everyone who experiences these crises switch gears. Like I said, the mind and body are a complex interplay of numerous factors and although there are definite rules, they always interface with the nuances of the individual’s constitutional make-up.

Also, it does not necessarily require a dramatic or sudden event to turn our Miasmatic gears. Often, disease results from the accumulation of stress over time. For instance, being in an abusive relationship, or a state of severe but sustained anxiety can also throw the switch. The process is subtle and is apparent only when signs and symptoms of disease show up.

And why focus only on the negative? On the flipside, positive life experiences that cleanse the self can play a crucial part in healing. Choosing homeopathy is just one such experience. Meditation, which calms the mind and body; an epiphany or a sudden awakening of the kind experienced by Eckhart Tolle as outlined in his book Power of Now; a sudden unburdening of guilt; and a change in life circumstances can all spontaneously reverse destructive processes in our minds and bodies without us making a conscious or deliberate attempt to do so. Have you ever wondered why some people ‘spontaneously recover’ from cancer and others are cured of addictions? Well, now you have the answer. This is self-healing at its best!

How fast do we switch gears?
How often have you heard of someone who has “died of grief” or perished soon after a debilitating health diagnosis? Alternatively, there are others who live long after these events take place.

The answer lies, not in any dark or sorrowful emotion but in one’s constitutional make-up. Sometimes, it takes years, even decades, for disease to develop. These individuals have a ‘slow constitution’, one which is slow to react to change of any kind. On the flipside, their road to good health is longer than those who have a 'fast constitution'.

‘Dying of grief’ or the shock of a grave diagnosis merely reflects a mind and body that has switched to Syphillitic mode very quickly because in homeopathic terms, death is the ultimate ‘destruction of life’.

Bear in mind that your constitutional make-up is decided by your genes and foetal environment and it is the basic matrix of your existence, a filter through which all experience passes and are assimilated.

How does a homeopath determine your Miasm?
There are many tools a homeopath uses to determine Miasms. The first and most obvious one is your appearance. Whenever a patient walks through my clinic door, I almost instinctively observe their facial features and body language.

In fact, Homeopathic Facial Analysis has been used as a very effective medium to assess Miasmatic states, and researchers at the Victorian College of Classical Homeopathy in Australia are conducting fascinating research into this area.

There are other ways to determine your Miasm, and often a combination of tools provides a complete and holistic picture. Arriving at the ‘right constitutional remedy’ is a nuanced process and it requires a considerable amount of information.

The Case Taking provides a wealth of information about your mental make-up, sensitivities, life circumstances, motives, attitudes and sensibilities. So, even if your Miasm is apparent from your appearance and body language, a full consultation compliments it by providing the whys and wherefores.

Thus, it is not without reason that classical homeopaths have been called ‘detectives’, divining clues to an individual’s mental and physical make-up. We have also been accused of ‘asking too many questions’ during consultation. “You have to tell them everything,” is an oft-used phrase used to describe the initial interview.
  
Personality & Miasms

Allow me to clarify that a homeopath does not engage in counselling and although the list of questions in the initial consultation is indeed long, the reason is precisely to procure clues to your Miasmatic state.

It’s incredible how much we give away without realising it, how much we say through our expressions and how much we slip between the lines. A skilled homeopath assimilates all the information, sews it together and then draws up a picture of your Miasmatic state.

So even if the initial consultation lasts around 60 minutes, that’s just 60 minutes to being handed a ticket to the superhighway of god health!

This is the second and concluding part of our previous discussion on Miasms.

Re-awaken the healer in you...
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to crm@mindheal.com. Website: www.mindheal.org. We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.